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Barnet surprise fans by appointing ex-Champions League winner as new manager

Barnet surprise fans by appointing an ex-Champions League winner as their new manager after Simon Bassey left for a role at Portsmouth.

The Australian was relieved of his duties as Oldham Athletic boss back in March with the club in 16th place in the League Two table.

National League Barnet have been looking for a new permanent manager since Tim Flowers left by mutual consent just days after Kewell’s dismissal.


Barnet Football Club are delighted to announce its new backroom and coaching team, following the appointments of Dean Brennan as our new Head of Football and Harry Kewell as the Bees new First Team Head Coach.

Australian football legend and former Crawley Town, Oldham Athletic and Notts County manager, Kewell will lead the Clubs Coaching staff heading into the new campaign. The former Liverpool and Leeds United winger had a memorable football career, where he represented his country in three separate FIFA World Cups and also became a UEFA Champions League winner in 2005.

Since retiring from on-field action, Kewell has enjoyed success at managerial level too, overseeing a successful campaign as Crawley Town boss in Sky Bet League Two during the 2017-18 season, before moving to Notts County. The 42-year-old most recently spent time at Oldham Athletic where he helped the Club move away from the relegation zone and subsequently improved their league position from the previous season before leaving the Latics earlier this year. Kewell has also coached at youth level, overseeing the Under-23s at Watford FC.

With his ambition to succeed and build something at The Hive London, Kewell was seen as a great option to help take the Bees into the 2021-22 campaign and beyond. Coupled with his fantastic knowledge of players who would be available within the EFL and his clear credentials as an exciting young coach, it is hoped that the Australian will be the man to bring the Club success going forward.

Post-Oldham: Harry Kewell - YouTube
Barnet surprise fans by appointing an ex-Champions League winner as their new manager

Speaking on his arrival in North London, Kewell said:

“Barnet is a fantastic football club but we need to get the Club back on the right path and get going back in the right direction. The Chairman and myself have put a really exciting backroom team together, with the view of a collective unit being the driving force behind a successful future for the football club.That starts with me as a Head Coach, but also with all of the staff, players and of course the supporters, we need to be a collective group with the ambition of bringing brighter days back to this incredible Club. There’s plenty of hard work to do to get us going in the right direction and I can’t wait to get started!”

Meanwhile, the Club has appointed Dean Brennan to oversee all off-field football matters and manage the recruitment, performance, analysis, logistics and youth departments of the Football Club. The Irishman has achieved fantastic success at non-league level, managing Hemel Hempstead Town to their first ever promotion to The National League South, before guiding Wealdstone to The National League South title in his first season in charge. Brennan also played for the likes of AFC Wimbledon, Luton Town and Grays Athletic during his earlier playing days, before taking a step into football management.

Brennan’s experience at non-league level will be vital within his new role as Head of Football and he will be tasked with ensuring that all aspects of our off-field set-up are working to maximum potential. His knowledge of lower leagues and understanding of The National League will be of great to support to our new Head Coach, in particular with recruitment and the pair will work together to put together a squad who will challenge at the top end of the league table.

The 40-year-old will manage our existing backroom staff and work with them to ensure that they and the players are prepared for a busy pre-season in anticipation for the new National League campaign which kicks off on Saturday, August 21st. That work is already well underway!

Brennan was keen to emphasise the importance of togetherness, as he embarks on a new chapter at The Hive London, he said:

“It’s very important to get a togetherness, we want to bring success back to the football club but that has to start with honest hard work. We need to bring everyone together, that includes the supporters, they are the life and soul of the Club, so let’s all get together and move forwards as one. We have lots of recruitment to do and that works starts immediately, I will be tasked with bringing the very best players who want to work hard for our Club.

“I have to thank the Chairman for his faith and trust in me, it’s a true privilege to be tasked with bringing success back to this Club and I think with what we’re building we can do just that. It’s a big job and a massive task but I am hugely confident with the staff that we have we can collaborate to bring something special to our supporters. But first and foremost, it’s about hard work and you achieve nothing without that, so we’ll be ensuring that we’re all pushing together in the right direction.”

Barnet FC Chairman, Tony Kleanthous, said: “I am delighted to welcome two extremely talented people to The Hive London to spearhead a new era for the Club. I have full faith that we have a great set-up that will support the rebuild of the First Team and take us forward into a successful 2021-22 campaign.

There’s plenty of hard work to do ahead of the new season and I look forward to seeing Harry and Dean, along with our existing backroom staff, get cracking with the task at hand. I am confident that with our recent appointments, there will be brighter days ahead for our supporters. ”

Everyone at the Club would like to welcome Harry and Dean to The Hive London and we wish them every success going forwards. Bees fans can stay tuned in the coming weeks for interviews with our new backroom team, as well as news of new recruits as a busy summer swings into action as we prepare for the new season.

The Club has also offered contracts to coach Dave Anderson, Head of Performance Gary Anderson, as well as physio Ollie Galloway, to continue within their roles for the 21-22 season. The Club will also appoint a new First Team Coach in due course.

Fans reacted with surprise by Barnet appointing an ex-Champions League winner as their new manager…

@GabSutton: Genuinely feel Harry Kewell has been a touch unlucky in previous jobs and that he can be a decent League Two manager. Likes attacking football and will develop players who can perform at a much higher level. Good luck, Bees and hopefully see you back in the league soon! #BarnetFC

@alekscz1: That’s acc quite decent


@Memdozer: I got a text this morning saying Brennan was coming into The Hive this morning. Didn’t expect both would be appointed but this is good. Brennan really loves finding a gem so this works well

@Von_Bubb: Ok… I’m in! Solid set of appointments, now all we need is a playing squad and we’re in business

@coatesy1976: This is a more exciting appointment than our potential one.

@JohnCosgrove: Good lord. There’s a danger of this looking quite professional. Nice to have another ex 85 percenter on board as well. Forever in our shadow. COYB

@Austin_BFC: Football league incoming

@BfcBurge: Well my initial thoughts are good! Some continuity with Dave & Gary Hopefully staying, Kewell leading the 1st team and DB running the youth and recruitment set up with his local & non league knowledge… let’s hope it pans out as well as it reads on paper COYB

@charliecassen: Harry Harrrrry Kewelllll

@Dazzarogers: This is set up to be a clash of egos and someone getting the boot before Xmas

@marowe1988: Brennan a decent appointment. Kewell a very weird one. We will see how it goes biggest issue at Barnet is their pound shop Chairman

@charliecassen: Let this be the last Twitter managerial announcement for a very, very long time 🙏🏻🐝

@DigDagMal: The most significant is Brennan, imo. Ready to step in, if it goes sour. Plus can stop it going sour. I’d have Brennan and no Kewell personally. Good luck for the season.

@AlwynLFC: Good appointment in Kewell

@bhaynes190: Get in!

@Davidjt43: We played some of our best attacking football for quite a while under Harry Kewell , I think he was poorly treated at #oafc and I hope he’s a success at Barnet. All the best

@Noooolan: Superb appointments 🐝

@DSM58: Pleased that @daveanderson78 hopefully will be staying feel his experience will help. Like the fact that we’ve kept faith in the structure and now all we need are some players! Welcome Dean & Harry!

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